Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group Newsletter no. 5 - July 2015 - Page 95

Visibility of eTwinning Projects Group July 2015 Newsletter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------As expected, some did, some didn’t, some finished their stories, others were struggling. It was time for an intervention and an honest discussion on what worked and what didn’t. The main problem was getting everyone involved, invested, trusting everyone to be their best. There was no room for egos, they had to push everyone just as hard and praise everyone the same. It was time to get them out of their comfort zone, so we changed teams. We put all the names in one hat and did it the old fashioned way. The first response was: “I don’t want to work with X, he/she does nothing or he/she is good for nothing, barely knows any English”. That stung since I thought all my students were above that. But I explained that there were simple tasks that could be assigned to those whose level of English was low, tasks such as translating the lists into Romanian, or illustrating the story, keeping tabs on what the team members do, documenting the work with photos. And then of course, everyone has ideas, everyone is creative and incredibly good at making up stories, so brainstorming became part of their routine. Every time they would present a story I would add more questions to it and sometimes the new elements they added to their story as a response to my questions were absolutely stunning. But how do you make this kid of a project work in class? Well, first of all, you can’t do it during every class, but once a week, for about 25-30 minutes they could move the desks, take out their phones, use my laptop, their tablets (just 2-3 but still enough) and get creative, inventing a world of their own. It was never quiet, dull, they were on their chairs, on the floor, at the window, in the adjacent room (our Comenius room) using the computer. Sometimes, they would mingle and borrow gadgets from another team or negotiate who uses the laptop. It was a matter of trust. Trusting them and empowering them. I trusted that they were working on the stories and not playing games, although sometimes that happened too, mostly when they had run out of ideas. I never nagged, threatened or took their devices away, because they were doing a bit of teambuilding, learning from each other, exchanging ideas, getting to know each other better. That is vital in a team and sometimes a team that is really in sync can achieve more than any hardworking team could. Playing and working go together. feedback, revised grammar by co